Deaths from tears in this artery are rising: 6 notes

The death rate for patients with a tear in a major artery coming out of the heart, known as aortic dissection, has been rising the past decade, especially among women and Black adults, a new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found.

Researchers used data from the CDC and a national death certificate database to analyze aortic dissection death rates in the U.S. from 1999 to 2019. Their findings were published March 18.

Six key findings: 

  • Between 1999 and 2019, a total of 86,855 aortic dissection deaths occurred in the U.S.

  • Of 83,803 deaths with available information on place of death, 81.7 percent occurred at medical facilities, 2.8 percent at nursing or long‐term care facilities, 1.5 percent in hospice, and 13.9 percent at home. 

  • Death rates initially fell 1.5 percent each year from 1999 to 2012, but began climbing an average 2.5 percent per year from 2012 to 2019.

  • Black adults experienced a higher annual increase of deaths, at 4 percent per year from 2012 to 2019.

  • Black adults experienced the highest aortic dissection death rates in the study period, 28.7 deaths per million in 1999 to 35.7 per million in 2019.

  • Women's age-adjusted mortality rate was 15.1 in 1999 and 15.7 in 2019, while men's was 28.5 in 1999 and 27.2 in 2019.

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